4 Basic Piano Chords to Quickly Learn New Songs

Chords are the building blocks of music: Learn to master them and you'll be able to learn new songs even faster. Here's how. 

by Jonas Gößling

Imagine you could just sit down at the piano and freely play songs without having to practice for years. It sounds unbelievable, but with the help of this guide, you can do it in just a FEW DAYS! Read on to find out how it works.

Prerequisites

If you want to quickly learn well-known songs and aren't completely new to the piano, this article is just right for you. If you've never played piano before, it might be too difficult for you to effectively follow along the tutorials in this article. Instead, you can start learning the piano basics by completing our first course: "Introduction to the Piano" that you will find in the app.

You will need a piano or keyboard and about 20 minutes of practice time per day. We promise that you will be able to play at least three great songs within a few days.

Preparation: Memorizing four basic piano chords

Most pop songs are based on a simple standard chord progression of four chords. For simplicity's sake, we'll show you the standard chord progression in the key of C major. You can also transfer them later on to other keys and bring more variation into your playing.

The chord progression consists of four basic chords:

  • C major (chord symbol "C")
  • G major (chord symbol "G")
  • A minor (chord symbol "Am")
  • F major (chord symbol "F")

In the following tutorial, you'll see how you can play these four piano chords with your left hand. Take 15-20 minutes to memorize the chords until you can play them effortlessly. The chord symbols in the sheets will help you commit them to memory. Before moving on to the next step, make sure you can play the chords with your left hand without having to look at the keys.

Practice the four basic chords in your left hand with this tutorial until you can play them "blindly"

Tutorial 1: Bob Marley - No Woman No Cry

If you can play the four basic chords with your left hand, you're already halfway there. Now it's time to add the melody with your right hand. In the following video, you can see how to play the world-famous melody from Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry" with your right hand while playing the basic chords in the left hand.

Video: How to play "No Woman No Cry" with four chords

Note: In this song you will play each chord twice. The order of the chords is the same..

Tutorial 2: Céline Dion – My Heart Will Go On (Titanic)

This world-famous melody from the film "Titanic" can also be accompanied with the four basic chords. Amazing, isn't it? In the following video you will learn how to play the melody of the song to the chords.

Video: How to play "My Heart Will Go On" with four chords

Tutorial 3: Alphaville – Forever Young

The chorus of this world hit from the 80s is also played with the same progression of chords. In the following video you can see how it works.

Video: How to play "Forever Young" with four chords

Want to play more songs and learn more advanced chord accompaniments?

Then try the flowkey app for free and discover hundreds of songs as well as interactive lessons on chord accompaniment, reading piano notes, improvisation and more.

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